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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

St. Mary's Center for Women and Children


St. Mary’s Home helps up to 85 homeless pregnant or parenting teens annually learn how to care for their infants and deal with the challenges of parenting while also pursuing a high school education.  Research indicates that when critical supports are available for teen mothers and their children the health and well-being of the young family is vastly improved.  St. Mary’s Home provides its residents with services that encourage nurturing and attachment, knowledge of parenting and child development, parental resilience, social connections, and concrete parenting support, all critical factors that will allow them to cope and parent effectively, even under stress.  Teens are 13-20 years old; their children are newborns-3 years old.

St. Mary's Home Tasks & Schedule: PULSE students help teens with homework, child care, co-lead psychoeducational groups, plan family activities, help with dinner preparation, read to toddlers, and provide emotional support to teens during evening hours.

Bridge Home is an emergency shelter for children who have been removed from their homes due to severe abuse or neglect. Given that the effects of child abuse and neglect can vary widely, Bridge Home provides children with a thorough assessment when they first arrive and basic care, emotional support, and psychological services that respond to their circumstances. To encourage consistency, stability, and recovery from the trauma they have experienced, children attend school whenever possible and benefit from Bridge Home’s nurturing, safe, family-like environment. Children at Bridge home range in age from newborns up to, and including, 12 year olds; most are school age children.

Bridge Home Tasks & Schedule: PULSE students help with homework, play with children, provide emotional support, and read to children during evening hours.

Nature & Purpose

St. Mary’s Center works to develop emotional, educational, and economic skills and stability for families living in homelessness and poverty. We support 700 women and children annually with shelter, job training, educational, and clinical services, working intensively with one family at a time and helping to ensure that children, who might otherwise make up the next generation of poverty, have options and bright futures. 

St. Mary’s mission and programs have expanded greatly since our beginning in 1993 and echo a long tradition of service on our Dorchester campus to Boston’s most disadvantaged populations.  Today St. Mary’s Center is recognized as a pioneer in creating programs that help women who have experienced repeated failure realize success for the first time in their lives.   

Margaret’s House shelters more than 85 homeless women and their 150+ children annually, providing services that will increase each mother’s knowledge and skills in acquiring and sustaining permanent housing and self-sufficiency. These mothers receive guidance in maternal-child health, nutrition education, life skills training, parenting skills, child development education, and self-esteem development. The trauma-sensitive approach helps young mothers develop skills to succeed in society as a parent, employee, and stable tenant. Mothers are generally 18-30 years old, primarily young families. Their children generally range from newborns to 13 years old.

Margaret's House Tasks & Schedule: PULSE students help with homework, child care, co-lead groups for children adjusting to living in shelter, plan family activities, provide emotional support, and read to toddlers and children during evening hours.